Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today met farmers of Puntambe village in Ahmednagar district, who had first given the call for a strike, and credited them for the loan waiver announced by the Maharashtra government. “Your contribution in this struggle for loan waiver is very important and no one can take the credit away from you,” he said while addressing farmers in the village. The BJP-led Maharashtra government had yesterday unveiled a Rs 34,022 crore farm loan waiver scheme, under which debts of up to Rs 1.5 lakh each would be written off, which would make 40 lakh farmers “debt-free” and provide relief to 49 lakh others.
The Shiv Sena is part of the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government. On June 1, farmers from Puntambe had gone on strike followed by many farmers’ groups in other parts. The strike was later called off. However, Uddhav hit out at the BJP-led Central government over demonetisation.
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“It is a grave sin by the party because the demonetisation decision has affected the farmers mostly. The money was withdrawn from the economy and farmers were left without any help. “They had no money to buy seeds, fertilisers etc,” claimed the Sena chief, whose party is also part of the Narendra Modi-led government. The same BJP government had asked farmers to go for tur cultivation but it ignored them at the time of its purchase. Such decisions led to farmers incurring more losses, claimed Uddhav.